Election 2016: Squaw Valley Public Service District — read 4 candidate statements
Visit the following websites for your respective county to learn more about local elections, as well as upcoming important dates and other information:
Nevada County: mynevadacounty.com/nc/elections/Pages/Home.aspx
Placer County: placerelections.com/current-elections.aspx
El Dorado County: edcgov.us/elections
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Four residents are in the race to fill three seats on the Squaw Valley Public Service District Board of Directors.
The general election is set for Nov. 8. For the SVPSD race, residents will be asked to vote for three of the four candidates; the top three vote-getters will be elected to the positions.
The three open seats are currently held by Carl Gustafson, Eric Poulsen and John Wilcox, all of whom filed for reelection.
In California, early voting for the general elections began Oct. 10.
To better inform readers voting early or heading to the polls on Election Day, the Sierra Sun reached out to the candidates a couple weeks ago and asked each to provide a short biography, as well as a 500-word maximum candidate statement.
Gustafson declined to participate — “I don’t do email,” he said, while adding, when asked to submit a photo, “I’m too old … no one wants to look at me” — but he did ask the Sun to use the statement he provided to Placer County, which is included below.
Below, you can read the candidates’ statements, which are printed verbatim (including typos and grammar errors) in random order:
Name: John M. Wilcox
Full-time residence in the region: Tiger Tail Road, Squaw Valley
How long you have been a resident: 23 years
Current occupation: Retired from business, now serve on two boards
Formal education: B.S. Chemical Engineering—Oregon State Univ, MBA Stanford Univ
Current and previous political/governmental experience: This is my 16th year on the SVPSD board having been elected to 4 terms. Previously I was appointed and served on the Squaw Valley MAC and Squaw Valley Design Review Committee.
The SVPSD board is the only elected body in Squaw Valley and its responsibilities and operations are to serve the community with water, sewer, garbage collection, fire protection and public safety.
Placer County controls development in Squaw Valley, but SVPSD requires developers to pay their fair share of any increased costs caused by development. Further, California state law requires public water suppliers to provide water to any customer in their geographic service area providing there is adequate water supply. In our case we have more than enough potential water supplies to serve the complete build-out of the valley as zoned in the 1983 Squaw Valley General Plan & Land Use Ordinance despite irresponsible claims to the contrary. No water will ever be piped from Martis Valley to enable new development.
Prior to the ownership change of the ski resort five years ago, the previous owner would not allow anyone to drill new water wells on their property which overlies much of the excellent quality water in our aquifer. Therefore, the community’s water supply could not be increased and this created a strict limitation on any future growth and development. However, the new owner of the ski resort will allow and cooperate with new wells in the previously unavailable area and extensive studies have shown that we now have access to an abundant water supply.
I have studied this carefully. I have a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and remember well studying in school the widely used calculations on fluid flow through granular solids. In recent times I have refreshed these memories and studied the details of how computer models of aquifers work and I now have a good general understanding of the workings, extensive calibrations and results of the model of Squaw Valley’s aquifer.
If you would like to learn more about the aquifer model and our water supply, I would be happy to meet with you and give you a more detailed explanation.
Under the present conditions, if the SVPSD refused to reasonably provide water service to a large developer, it would open the door to a most costly lawsuit which could devastate our community.
I was a founder, President and Chairman of the Board of a successful and innovative business in Silicon Valley and have an MBA from Stanford University. The SVPSD is well-managed like a successful business. Unlike many public agencies, we have a long-established “rainy day fund” in the bank. Almost every year we put some amount of money into this fund which resulted in very little debt and no bond payments. This allows us to replace old equipment as it wears out without having to borrow money and thereby keeps your rates as low as possible without reducing the level and quality of service.
Please feel free to call me if I can answer any questions: 530-581-3022 or (c) 530-913-3023.
Name: Dr. Fred Ilfeld
Full-time residence in the region: Squaw Valley, Hidden Lake sub-division
How long you have been a resident: 17 years
Current occupation: retired physician
Formal education: B.A. from Yale (major: psychology; sociology; anthropology). M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training in psychiatry as well as a M.A. in sociology from Stanford University
Current and previous political/governmental experience: Ten years as Board member and Board Chair of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. Three years working toward the incorporation of Olympic Valley, which entailed public activism, speaking in public meetings, fund-raising, and becoming knowledgable about Squaw Valley and Placer County finances, services, and land-use policy.
Hello. My name is Dr. Fred Ilfeld. I am running for the Squaw Valley Public Service District Board, and I believe I fulfill three main qualifications for this office:
• I am knowledgable about the work required
• I am familiar with our community’s traditions and needs
• and I am committed to the duties of public service
As a physician, I have utilized quantitative methods and practiced using the best scientific knowledge- experience that will serve the PSD well.
As a home owner in Squaw Valley since 1979 I am familiar with our Valley’s demography, our customs and values, and the concerns of our citizens. Having led Olympic Valley’s incorporation efforts, I have built a positive relationship with my neighbors and have studied first hand our finances, our natural and human resources, and our various connections with Placer County.
My commitment to public service has been demonstrated by my 10 years as Board member and Board Chair for the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. Commitment to public service is evident also in my incorporation efforts for more local control over revenues, services, and land use policy.
This election is a unique moment for the Squaw Valley PSD. It is only the second time in the PSD’s existence, 52 years, that there has been a contested election. And I am the only non-incumbent running. Our Valley needs a new face and a fresh perspective. Please tell your friends and neighbors in Squaw Valley about my candidacy and allow me this opportunity to serve. Thank you.
Name: Carl Richard Gustafson
Occupation: Registered civil engineer
I have been a full time Squaw Valley resident since 1963 and formerly a Squaw Valley Property Owners Board member. I am presently a member of the Friends of Squaw Creek and the Truckee River Watershed Counsel. I have attended many SVPSD meetings where I submitted comments relating to the impact over-drafting has upon the aquifer, Squaw Creek and higher water rates. I have argued the amount of water available is limited — confirmed by the study conducted by SVPSD.
Since 1992, I have observed Squaw Creek drying up unusually early with fish and aquatic life dying. This phenomena is occurring again this season. Thus, I believe the SVPSD should direct their attention to managing the water to better benefit both the residents and the environment. My position has been consistent and can be referenced by reviewing supporting comments in draft EIR’s, minutes of SVPSD meetings, and before Lahontan Water Quality Control Board. My focus as a SVPSD Board member will be to insure current residents have an adequate safe supply of water.
Name: Eric Jeffery Poulsen
Full-time residence in the region: over 65 years
How long you have been a resident: over 65 years
Current occupation: Realtor
Formal education: Graduate of Business School University of Denver; Graduate of Special District Leadership Academy with emphasis on Governance, Leadership and Finance.
Current and previous political/governmental experience: Squaw Valley Public Service District Board of Directors
I have been a Squaw Valley Community Member for over 65 years. I raised my family in our local community and have owned a business and property in the valley for many years. I am also a past U.S. Ski Team member and U.S. Olympian.
The Squaw Valley Public Service District provides Water, Sewer, Fire and Emergency Services for our Squaw Valley community and administers the residential garbage service contract for the local Garbage Disposal Company. They also provide maintenance services for the Squaw Valley Mutual Water Company and do snow removal on the Squaw Valley bike path during the winter season.
I am a current board member of the Squaw Valley Public Service District and have served the Squaw Valley Community as a board member for many years. I started with the Squaw Valley Fire Department as a volunteer in the 1970’s. I am a graduate of the University of Denver Business school and a graduate of the Special District Institute leadership program (now, the Special District Leadership Academy). Our courses focused on Leadership, Finance and Governance. As such, I have a good understanding of how this public entity functions and will uphold the district Mission Statement, as follows:
“Squaw Valley Public Service District serves full-time and part-time residents, businesses, employees and visitors in Squaw Valley. The mission is to provide leadership in maintaining and advocating for needed, high quality and financially sound community services for the Valley. These include, but are not limited to water, emergency services, and sewer and garbage collection. The District will conduct it’s operations in a cost effective, conservation-minded and professional manner, consistent with the community, while protecting natural resources and the environment.”
Some of the important current projects that we have been working on include updating our fire department with the purchase of two new fire engines, updating our water and sewer master plans, updating our Olympic Valley Groundwater Management and Action Plan, Redundant Water Supply analysis, Capacity and Reliabilty Study Update and professional analysis of how we budget and charge for our services including an analysis to update how we save for our Fixed Asset Replacement Program for the future. I will continue working hard to help our district move forward.
On November 8, please vote for Eric Poulsen for director of the Squaw Valley Public Service District.